From: Caolan McNamara (Caolan.McNamara at domain ul.ie)
Date: Thu 30 Sep 1999 - 17:52:56 IST
Hmm, ive been messing with css in html to see if some sort of tab stop
concept could be emulated with it. And as always with what I want I can
*almost* but not quite do it without going mad.
Basically when converting automatically a wordprocessor format to
html we cannot practically convert usages of tabstops to
tables or paragraph indent values. It is just not viable, so it
would be wonderful if html had a concept of placing components
at fixed horizonal positions.
So along comes stylesheets, and yes you can position components.
Either absolutely or relative.
Seeing as what I want to do is ensure that each chunk of text (say
surrounded by a span) is at a fixed distance from the start of the
last chunk, it seems ideal to use relative, but relative put the
next chunk relative to the *end* of the last element. So you get
an effect like this
rab rab rab
a a a
Which is no improvement at all!, seeing as we're aiming for
rab rab rab
a a a
If you position something absolutely you "remove it from the text
flow", in practive this means that you now have to manually place
every other components in the html document to avoid one being
placed above the other and so on. In effect you are drawing text onto
a canvas rather than into a line by line display, and you loose the
ability to restart the text below the absolutely placed component, so
the absolutely placed elements float over the ordinary compoments,
gagh, its impossible.
What I want is to be able to retain the text flow, but position
compoments absolutely from the left margin of the screen, or relative
to the *beginning* of the previous compoment. Does anyone have *any*
ideas as how to mock up this behaviour.
(any talk about this not being the purpose of html can be staked out
in the desert to die seeing as there as the css stuff allows all
sorts of arbitrary placement of compoments on the browser display)
It is quite possible given a really good knowlegde of stylesheets to
do this, but its eluding me.
Real Life: Caolan McNamara * Doing: MSc in HCI
Work: Caolan.McNamara at domain ul.ie * Phone: +353-86-8790257
URL: http://www.csn.ul.ie/~caolan * Sig: an oblique strategy
Look at the order in which you do things
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